Roberto Duran & Sugar Ray Leonard’s Fierce Ring Rivalry Inspires New Film (Video)
Roberto Durán is revered as one of the greatest boxers of all-time. Born in El Chorrillo, Panama, Durán would eventually hold world titles in four different classes in a career that spanned from 1968 to 2001. A car accident would force Roberto’s retirement from boxing at age 50. He is reported to be one of only two professional fighters to compete in five different decades.
New film Hands Of Stone takes its name from Durán’s nickname. The film, starring Édgar Ramírez (as Duran), Usher (as Leonard), Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, and John Tuturro, hones in on the two 1980 matches between Durán and Sugar Ray Leonard. June’s “The Brawl In Montreal” would be the first, with Durán earning his first welterweight title, defeating the then lossless Leonard at Olympic Stadium. In November that same year, Leonard and Durán had a rematch in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, Durán controversially forfeited in the 8th round, telling referee “no mas.” In turn, Sugar Ray reclaimed his title.
This film examines that fierce rivalry and differing personalities, the steamy love interests of both men, and the two fights that would recharge pro boxing during a crossroads. The trailer (rated R itself) sets the stage:
In 1989, the two bitter enemies would fight a third time as middleweights. Leonard would take the victory—at that point in his career, losing only to Durán.
Sugar Ray, a gold medalist American whose pro career debuted 1977, would retire in 1997—after several previous attempts.
Hands Of Stone releases in to theaters this week.